India’s digital divide amid pandemic: A Review

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Rahul Singh, Dr Ruby Chanda


The digital divide transcends beyond all boundaries, with over millions of students pushed to adopt virtual learning as the primary means of education almost overnight. Unequal access to technology has raised concerns over further divisions in society as majority of India’s population faces significant challenges in making an online presence due to lack of infrastructure. Already existent digital divide has only worsened during the pandemic because of reduced incomes, job losses, and burdening healthcare expenditures. Increasing dropouts at school has deteriorated years of human capital gains due to the issue of digital divide in India amid COVID-19 pandemic and it has impacted both the genders differently. Learning from the experiences of foreign countries, similar attempts could be made here to respond to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic by localizing these action plans. Digital divide poses threat to equal sharing of resources, gender equality, education, access to information and digital services and eventually a threat to decades of gains in human capital, putting future of a highly progressive nation at risk.

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